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Walking House: The Gypsy caravan of the future

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on October 21st, 2008

Sure, when the oil shortage becomes oil-no-more, it would be nice to drive around in search of fuel like Mad Max, but what would be even better is to have your own movable home to wander the wasteland in. Something on legs that can roam anywhere. Something like this. But faster.

It’s made to be a “modular dwelling system that enables persons to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape”. It’s even environmentally friendly according to its designers, thanks to its use of solar energy, small windmills and a wood stove. So it looks like nomads of the future, or gypsies if you will, will be wandering the landscape in this contraption. I look forward to this new breed of hippy and I’d like to be the first to tell them to get this beast the hell off of my property. Damn long-hairs. But I guess I’ll just have to wait.

Walking iPhone robot commits suicide

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on October 19th, 2008

Sometimes you don’t have your phone handy and you miss an important call. Maybe from Bill Gates himself. This guy found a solution. Well, not so much a solution as a work in progress. He wanted a way for his iPhone to come to him when he got a phone call. (Apparently he’s on the toilet alot) He gets points for ingenuity, putting robot legs on an iPhone, but the concept obviously needs some fine tuning. We really don’t want our iPhone to spring to life and hurl itself off the edge of the table as seen here. Well, as long as it’s not our iPhone.

Minoru robot webcam for 3D video chat

Posted in Webcams by Conner Flynn on October 17th, 2008

Minoru robot webcam for 3D video chatWeb cams have just gone all view-master on us. The Minoru looks like a super-cute Japanese robot and is designed to deliver the Internet experience in 3D. The stereo webcam uses two lenses to form one image that appears three-dimensional…when the viewer wears a pair of 3D glasses. When are we gonna get beyond these nerd glasses?

It’s compatible with chat services like Skype, AIM, and Windows Live Messenger. Apparently the device can take 3D photos and output 3D video that’s uploadable to YouTube too. He’s part E.T., part Wall-E and he’ll be on sale in December for $100.

Brionvega RR226 record/CD/DVD combo does the robot

Posted in music by Conner Flynn on October 16th, 2008

Brionvega RR226 record/CD/DVD combo does the robotJust look at that robot face on the Brionvega RR226. Who wouldn’t be charmed by that retro 60s ‘design? Both the RR226 and its 1965 counterpart, the Radiofonografo RR126, earned the nickname “musical component robots” due to that face, with it’s dials and speakers.

But it isn’t all about looks. Brionvega is known for creating superior decks with quality components. This one is no exception, combining a phonograph, radio, record player and a CD/DVD drive. In fact, the new model looks like a copy of the original, aside from the inclusion of the CD and DVD drive. No word on price yet, but we probably can’t afford it anyway.

Hands On: WowWee’s Tri-Bot

Posted in Review,Robots by Conner Flynn on October 13th, 2008

Hands On: WowWee’s Tri-BotYou’ve seen him in The Shining and in Rocky as well as various videos and pictures around the web, but is this bot just as awesome in person?

He’s a wise-cracking and highly energetic bot, that’s for sure, but did his personality win us over as soon as we took him out of the box? Hit the link for the full review. Here’s a spoiler: Tri-Bot melted my cold geek heart and has my wife wondering why I can’t stop playing with a wise-cracking robot.

Hands On: WowWee Alive Panda Cub

Posted in Review by Conner Flynn on October 6th, 2008

Hands On: WowWee Alive Panda CubWe got a chance recently to check out a robot of the cute and cuddly variety, as opposed to the kind that will take your face off. The sickeningly cuddly and cute WowWee Alive Panda Cub. While it doesn’t go so far as to chew bamboo in your livingroom and call itself Ling-Ling, it’s an impressive huggable robot for the kid or the grown up in your life. The final verdict? Kids love it because of it’s interactivity and realism. Hit the link and head over to our robot site for the full review.

Anna Konda: Firefighting snake robot

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 30th, 2008

Anna Konda: Firefighting snake robotThis fire fighting bot spits venom to put out fires. And by venom I mean harmless water. Anna Konda has been fitted with what amounts to a super soaker.

The slithering bot is 3 meters long, weighs in at 75 kilos, and has 20 joints, each with 33 degrees of movement. It shoots water sure, but it’s also powered by H2O. In each joint section there are hydraulic valves and cylinders that can handle 1450 psi of water pressure. Anna Konda is designed to be a fire fighting snake and high water pressure has the added advantage of making it stronger while keeping it’s components cool which is a bonus when fighting fires. In the future a bot like this will strangle you dead, but for now he’s looking to take Smokey The Bear’s job, by protecting us from fire while creeping us out. Video below.

Nissan’s robot “car” that thinks it’s a bumblebee

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 29th, 2008

Nissan’s robot “car” that thinks it’s a bumblebeeNature is always the best model, whether you’re building robots or…other human made monstrosities. And with that in mind, Nissan has applied the idea to the Biomimetric Car Robot or BR23C. The robot car is modeled after Bee behavior in order to prevent car collisions and thereby eliminate accident casualties.

The BR23C adopts a bee’s eye view of the world. The insects rely on a 300-degree field of vision to identify obstacles and avoid them. Likewise the robot, using a Laser Range Finder (LRF) uses a 180-degree radius vision to detect obstacles two meters away. The image is transmitted to a microprocessor, which directs the robot to change direction or speed up in order to avoid a collision. In other words, avoiding collisions is all instinct.

Murata’s new balancing robot gets feminine, rides a unicycle

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 24th, 2008

Murata’s new balancing robot gets feminine, rides a unicycleRemember Murata’s amazing bicycle riding bot? Well, they’ve created a girl that basically one-ups the poor guy and shows him up by riding only on one wheel. Her name is Seiko, a 20-inch tall, 11 pound unicycle riding robot. Just like her male counter-part, Keisaku-kun, Seiko sports a chest-mounted gyro to keep her upright and uses Bluetooth to communicate with a PC that gives her instructions.

If you find yourself in Japan, you can watch the whole family of robo-daredevils do their thing at CEATEC Japan 2008. One-upped by a girl who only needs one wheel? That sucks. Check out a video below of the original, our favorite bike riding bot, casually riding around looking like some robo-hoodlum up to no good.

Whizzwatch: Control R2-D2 with your watch

Posted in Watches by Conner Flynn on September 22nd, 2008

Whizzwatch: Control R2-D2 with your watchThe R2-D2 Whizzwatch while not heavy on style, lets you control a miniature version of R2-D2 with a special wristwatch IR transmitter. R2 is attached to it’s strap. Just unclip the little droid, put him on your desk and watch him go. The watch supposedly has a variety of digital readouts, and you can switch between 12/24 hour displays. It costs about $36. My concern with this watch would be running into some dude with a Jawa watch. If the two should fight, your little droid might end up in a Jawa sandcrawler.

4Moms robot Stroller unpacks itself, may eat babies

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 21st, 2008

4Moms robot StrollerStarting in 2009 this automated baby stroller from 4Moms can be yours. Personally I think it’s a plot from Terminators in the future to nab John Connor in his infancy. Check out the video below to see it’s autonomous collapsing trick. It’s anybodies guess what happens when an unsuspecting mother hits the collapse button. It probably has a safety feature. Unless I’m right about Skynet getting into the stroller business. In that case it becomes a baby compactor.

On a practical note, it’s powered by a rechargeable generator. It gets more power with every 300 feet of movement. It’s also environmentally friendly, with the plastic being from 90% of recycled materials. It will cost you $650 and a very cranky baby if things go wrong.

Terminator Endoskeleton on Ebay speeds up Judgment Day

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 16th, 2008

Terminator Endoskeleton on Ebay speeds up Judgment DayThis is how it begins. You buy a rare Terminator endoskeleton on eBay. Before you know it, you start learning about cybernetics. Soon you start your own company. Skynet sounds catchy. What could possibly go wrong? Before you know it, you have some hot milf and her kid trying to kill you so they can stop Judgment Day in the future. So she’s a little wacky and dangerous, you just have to try to score with her. You make your move. And just like that you’re dead and the future is safe. Except for that microchip you hid away for a rainy day. Oops. Sequel time.

All because you had to had to place the minimum bid of $19,999.00.

Lego NXT autonomous Wall-E robot is the coolest yet

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on September 10th, 2008

Lego NXT autonomous Wall-E robotBazmarc from the Trossen Robotics Community Forums has built a Lego Wall-E that kills all others dead. It has more movement, therefore more cuteness. It’s the Lego NXT Autonomous Wall-E Robot! Of course it looks like Wall-E, but also has some impressive features. Like I said, it’s movements blow other Wall-E Lego projects away. The result is that it’s more genuine. It’s a TRC Project Contest entry and though they haven’t even announced the contest yet, I can’t imagine anything else beating this little guy.

Technical specs: Technical specs: 1 Mindstorms NXT with rechargable pack, 3 Lego NXT Servo Motors, 4 Lego PowerFonctions motors, 2 PF IR receiver, 1 UltraSonic sensor, 1 Sound sensor, 1 InfraRed link sensor, (HiTechnic), 1 NXTservo module and 1 mini RC servo, (Mindsensors), 10 AA batteries, Lego parts mainly from the Bulldozer set #8275 and other parts from various technic sets. Check out a short video below.

R2-D2 fridge keeps stuff cold as Hoth

Posted in Star Wars by Conner Flynn on August 27th, 2008

R2-D2 fridge keeps stuff cold as HothThis R2-D2 compact fridge is hot as tatooine outside and cold as the ice planet Hoth inside, so it will impress your friends and keep your food fresh. It was made back in 2002 as a promotional item for an Attack of the Clones contest held at 7-11 Stores in Japan. Apparently only 1000 of these rare refrigerators were ever made, making it a hot and cool collectible at the same time.

Luckily for you, you can buy one from Toyeast for $1070. Of course, that is probably your grocery money so you won’t have anything to put in it. Empty or not, you’ll have your own astromech droid. Now you’ll just need an X-Wing to put him in.

Muwi concept mower plays with it’s food

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on August 21st, 2008

Muwi concept mower plays with it’s foodHave you ever wished you could do something useful with the grass your lawnmower collects in the bag? Apparently someone thought long and hard on that very issue. A few someones, like South Korean students Yong Hee Cho, Yuli Sung, Jee Won Lee and Seung Hee Son. The Muwi mower will take your yard trimmings and compact them into usable shapes like a seat or a grass ball your kids can throw around.

After it figures out the size and shape of your lawn, it will start munching grass by itself and excrete fun shapes. It’s your choice whether you want to clean up the shapes, seat on them or play with them. You might even want to toss them all in your neighbors yard. It’s kind of like having a robotic goat since it munches grass and leaves droppings.